EARLY EDITION: Five Quick News Stories For Your Water Cooler Chat (Wed. Feb 1)

Today's Stories: Schiff's new role; new mask study; China/Taiwan; California weed; Covid bills

1. Schiff’s new committee role certain to be a pain in the neck for GOP

A history of extreme partisanship was instrumental in Schiff getting tossed from the Intelligence Committee, but McCarthy never stripped him of all committee assignments.

Where Jeffries would slot him after losing that battle was an open question. That question has now been answered. Schiff is headed to the Judiciary, setting up the potential for some meme-worthy clashes with Rep. Jim Jordan.

Will this presidential election be the most important in American history?

The expectation is that Schiff will look for every possible angle to throw wrenches into the machine of Republican oversight of the Biden Administration’s various controversial portfolios.

2. New mask study throws shade on Faucian wisdom

We’ve gone from asking ‘which mask’ and ‘how many’ to… ‘do they make any difference at all’? And some die-hard mandaters will not like the results of a new study.

An international study published in the ‘gold standard’ peer-reviewed Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews released their findings about mask efficacy with respect to respiratory viruses.

This is the cited study: Physical interventions to interrupt or reduce the spread of respiratory viruses

With results running contrary to popular opinion, they struggled to find someone willing to publish the study which found wearing surgical masks ‘probably makes little or no difference to the outcome of laboratory‐confirmed influenza/SARS‐CoV‐2 compared to not wearing masks’.

N-95 findings ran similarly contrary to public opinion.

3. Tension rises between China and Taiwan over incursions

With China ramping up incursions of the buffer zone between China and Taiwan — with the Chinese military flying 20 warplanes across the line, and ongoing naval operations running nearby — the island Republic has stepped up their responses.

With 34 aircraft and nine warships lurking nearby, Taiwan scrambled fighter jets, activated their missile systems, and put their navy on alert.

This comes just days after a leaked memo from an American general to his subordinates stating a significant possibility that regional conflict could drag us all into war within 2 years.

4. Jerry Garcia-branded pot company chased out of California

Black market pot growers are thriving in California, but the pot shop run by Jerry Garcia’s estate is ending California operations: ‘taking a pause in California’.

Their product is still available in other states where pot is legal. But Newsom has run him out of California.

What’s at issue?

Taxes and license fees at the retail level, on the growers, consumers, pretty much anywhere the various levels of government in California can try to squeeze a nickle out of a wallet.

5. House passes two bills ending Covid-era measures

One, the H.R. 382, “Pandemic Is Over” Act, is named after a direct quote from Biden, and would call an official end to the pandemic emergency.

The other would bring an end to the vaccine mandate for healthcare workers at institutions receiving federal funding.

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